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‘The Circe Effect: Women’s Creative Power Reclaims the Narrative’ Gallery exhibition and performance at WCSU

The Circe Effect flyer

The Circe Effect posterDANBURY, Connecticut — The Gallery at the Visual and Performing Arts Center at Western Connecticut State University will present “The Circe Effect: Women’s Creative Power Reclaims the Narrative,” featuring the work of Madeleine Conover, Donna Dodson, Katiushka Melo, Cheryl Mukherji, Dana Robinson and Chelsea Steinberg Gay. The exhibit will be on view from February 8 – March 3, 2024. The opening reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb.8, during which Melo will perform.

The exhibit is inspired by themes explored in the best-selling novel “Circe” by Madeline Miller. The narrator is Circe herself, goddess and sorceress from the ancient Greek epic, the “Odyssey.” The New York Times called the novel “A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess’ story … recasting the most infamous female figure from the ‘Odyssey’ as a hero in her own right.” In the novel, Circe takes ownership of her story and tells it on her own terms, thereby releasing herself from the constraints of the Western cultural imagination that often presents her one dimensionally as a dangerous, seductive witch.

Miller’s methodology has struck a cultural chord by addressing the familiar feminist principles of women’s power and agency, and how they are received when women orchestrate the narrative, but also by challenging and even recasting stereotypes. Collectively, the work of the artists gathered in the exhibition addresses these subjects from contemporary points of view. The exhibit includes works in sculpture, painting, photography, performance, installation, printmaking and drawing. Additionally, a “Circe” book discussion group for students will be co-presented by the WCSU libraries and the Department of Art, with books donated by the Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) Big Read.

The Gallery at the Visual and Performing Arts Center is located on the second floor of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension, Danbury. For more information about the exhibit, visit www.wcsu.edu/art/gallery/ or call (203) 837-3982.  Reserve a spot at the reception at www.eventbrite.com/e/gallery-opening-the-circe-effect-tickets-811659915657. The Gallery is open Tuesdays–Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Please note the gallery is closed during Presidents Day Weekend, Feb.16-19.


Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.